The Salamander by Morris West

Set in Rome (Lazio)
Milan (Lombardia)
Venice (Veneto)

Morris West

The Salamander

JACKET NOTES:  A neo-fascist general is found dead in his bed. Was it suicide or murder?

Moving from the glittering society of wealth, influence and high finance to the grimy underworld of Rome, Milan and Venice, The Salamander reveals a complex web of plots and counterplots leading deeper and deeper into the inferno of modern Italian politics. It explores lives touched by the love, intrigue and violence bred by a sordid and seething world:

Colonel Dante Alighieri Matucci, arrogant and skeptical officer in Italy's highly secret Service of Defense Information, who is called in to investigate the apparent suicide. What he discovers draws him into the forefront of the Salamander's grand design--a plan for the salvation of a nation, which, not incidentally, would make Matucci Italy's top man. It also plunges him into an ever-widening vortex of espionage, violence, blackmail and murder.

Lili Anders, brave and beautiful courtesan to the powerful; an admitted Polish spy, whose dangerous affair with Colonel Matucci is a bitter lesson in the high price of love.

Marcantonio Leporello, General of the Military Staff, whose ruthlessness and cruelty serve him well in a bold maneuver designed to make him another Duce.

Captains Roditi and Carpi, the general's henchmen, whose underworld connections leave nothing to chance.

At the heart of the story is the Salamander himself, Bruno Manzini, a man of renaissance taste and wisdom, "who built himself cell by cell, from nothing." Now a millionaire industrialist, Manzini has taken as his code name and emblem the legendary symbol of man's survival-the Salamander-and pits his skill against the elaborate machinery threatening to undermine and destroy the government of modern Italy.

In this masterpiece of political suspense, every color is authentic and every character has a counterpart in real life. At every moment the reader is caught and held by a new surprise and new suspense, and the climax is a startling and moving irony-the signature of a master storyteller. An arresting and powerful novel of passionate people caught in a complex web of political intrigue, The Salamander moves through a world of love, espionage and violence that holds the reader spellbound from the first page to the last.
(© Pocket Books)